Express Scripts, a pharmacy-benefits-management company, has agreed to pay $9.5 million to 28 states and the District of Columbia to settle allegations that the company engaged in deceptive prescription-switching practices that had no financial or health benefits for patients.
Under the terms of the agreement, St. Louis-based Express Scripts admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to pay in order to avoid litigation. This wasnt a lawsuit, said Express Scripts spokesman Steve Littlejohn. It was an investigation that had been under way since July 2004, and the settlement allows us to move forward and bring this to an end in a way thats acceptable to the attorneys general.
The investigation probed whether Express Scripts switched patients to brand-name cholesterol drugs in an effort to maximize volume rebates the company received from drug manufacturers. Patients were often told they would benefit by the switch, but in fact incurred some expenses related to the changes, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania attorney generals office.
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington participated in the settlement. (For a longer version of this story, please click here.) - by Shawn Rhea